9 Oct 2013

Compensation call for use of Vanuatu's main airport

6:14 pm on 9 October 2013

The people of Mele village on Vanuatu's island of Efate have petitioned the government to settle a long standing demand for compensation over the use of their airspace by planes landing at the main airport.

A village leader and Vanuatu's first president, Ati George Sokomanu, says the village regularly gets polluted by aircraft landing at and taking off from Bauerfield Airport.

And he says that is not their only concern.

"When the plane arrives it approaches the village before landing and one of these days if it crashes that whole village will be obliterated. This is a worry that we have. Not only because we are losing all our citrus fruit - this is something which we have noticed for some years now but the government is not doing anything about it."

Ati George Sokomanu says they not only want financial compensation but government assistance in road maintenance and the construction of a community center to house people during disasters.